Celebrating Compassion Sunday and Releasing Children from Poverty

It’s Compassion Sunday which means churches all across the world are celebrating how children are being rescued in Jesus’ name.

Look at how St. John’s Lutheran in Buffalo, MN, has decorated their church.


(Technology not playing nice? Watch it on YouTube)

Photos of Compassion children, their sponsoring families, and letters sent back and forth makes the whole thing seem more personal.

It’s not a child on the other side of the world and a family here.

It’s a family spread across the world.

They belong together.

This Compassion Sunday, let’s stop poverty for children one child at a time.

When you put it all in a frame, it does’t seem so foreign.

Sponsor a child.

For the first time or maybe add another little boy or little girl to your family.

If you sponsor a child through that link, let me know and I’ll send you a free CD as a thank you gift.

Blessings friend,

Peder

When You’re Preparing to Send Your Kid Off To College

For the first time in our lives, Sherri and I are taking our children on college visits.

It’s a fun, exciting, intimidating, and interesting experience that marks a new season of life. It’s unknown territory.

It’s not necessarily that we don’t know what to expect when it comes to college campuses, dorm rooms, and community. We do. Although, I don’t remember having Starbucks on my campus. That sure would have been nice.

It’s the stuff of the heart I wasn’t expecting.

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Of course there are all the common perspectives like: “This is their time to enter into their own adventure,” “Now they spread their wings,” or “This is when they really learn about who they are.”

I get those statements.

The part I wasn’t expecting was how I find myself watching to see if he is really ready. I mean REALLY ready.

Is he asking all the right questions?

Does he really get what it means to be on his own?

Did I prepare him correctly and give him the skill and information to handle any situation?

The worse part is when something shows up in front of me and the voice in my head says I may not have covered that possibility in his training and now he might fall off the edge of the earth if I don’t get him into “shape for life.”

Honestly, I’m not good at letting go and allowing my kids to fail. I know it’s important to not be a helicopter parent, and I’m not. But I also don’t want to miss any situation where my children might get hurt or scared.

No parent wants their children to get hurt or scared but the college thing has brought out a new possibility of “danger.”

What if he needs me, and I’m a thousand miles away?

There will be people and resources he will have access to for help or guidance for sure, BUT they’re not me. I’m his dad. I know him. I get him. They can’t do what I can do…

Taylor Carroll

Yes, I know this is normal but it doesn’t mean I like it.

Scripture says to “train them up in the way they should go and they will not depart from it.”

I find myself questioning me, not the training.

Did I do my job?

My thoughts… I screwed up so much. I should have done this better. I want one more time or another chance to retrain him in this area so he doesn’t have to be unprepared.

Yet I can’t stop time and I can’t redo much of anything.

Panicking won’t help.

If a son saw his dad in a panic, that will go the wrong direction. Can you imagine if we thought God was in a panic? Not good.

The well-known Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your path straight.”

My wife, Sherri, reminds me trust is about rest not necessarily letting go.

Meaning to trust is to rest yourself in God’s presence, sovereignty, and grace for you and your child.

I’m not good at this.

Is God for my son Taylor? Yes.
Does God know my heart for Taylor and his success? Yes.
Does God have dominion over Taylor and his life at college or whatever he chooses? Yes.
Can I rest in that? Yes.

Am I resting right now? Not really…

Visiting Carroll

So at this point I will try to rest more in the Holy Spirit’s work in Taylor and less about my own fears about what I did and didn’t do.

It’s hard to rest but we all need it for one thing or another…

Trust = Rest

Next question: How much does that school cost? Ugh…

Do you have any advice for us parents sending our oldest off to college this fall?

God is good all the time.

Peder

Live Like You’re In The Game!

I love tournaments. The competition, energy, tension. Win and play again or lose and go home.

The NCAA March Madness is a favorite time for many sports fans because of that.

The underdog taking on the favorite hoping for that one game where they take down the giant. The player who shoots the free throws to tie the game with no time on the clock or, better yet, the last second shot from deep beyond the 3-point line to win the whole thing.

In moments like that there is so much emotion: one team rejoices and one team feels empty. You see 18-22 year olds jumping around like kids who got some free candy or having faces of tears like someone took the candy.

It’s one thing to watch it but to be a player in it is a whole different ball game (no pun intended 😉 ).

photo credit

photo credit: O via photopin (license)

Some times you hear players after the game talk about “If only I would have did this or not done that.”

I even hear players put the loss on their own shoulders saying they cost their team the game. Noble? Maybe. Hard on the heart? Definitely.

Think about the disciples. They thought they had suffered the worst loss ever when Jesus was crucified and died.

The One who called them from mundane life to experiences of healings, miracles, intense conflict with people who wanted to kill Him. The one they followed for three years of their lives seeing things they wouldn’t know how to put into words.

The One who said He loved them and the One they loved was gone in a sequence of events of brutality, fear, betrayal. It’s a cloud of hopelessness.

This feeling of defeat and blur of confusion was endured for three days.

This wasn’t a ball game. For these followers is what the very heartbeat of who they were thrown into tornado of havoc and spit out with no compassion.

Imagine what it would be like for a team who lost a heartbreaking game in the tournament to get a call to find out their loss had been reversed and they were now declared the winners!

How would that feel for those players that they were still in the tournament and still invited to compete and play in the next game?

Magnify that emotion by a million and then you might taste what the Mary, Martha, and the disciples felt when they found the tomb empty and Jesus reappeared to them.

What was happening in front of them was inconceivable: Jesus had come back to life in front of them. What was happening inside of them was even more inconceivable.

They were being told not to go home and curl up on the ground in defeat but instead all things had been reversed and they were still in the game!

We’ve been told the same thing.

That should cause anyone to jump, shout, dance, even shed tears but oh they are tears of joy!

Does it do that to you?

We just celebrated Easter Sunday, the most crucial day in the life of a Christian. It put us back in the game.

How do you live after that? How will you live this year?

The disciples lived the wake of the resurrection of Jesus like they never had before. They didn’t want to waste their second chance.

You? Me?

We’re still in the game through Jesus Christ. Not only that, the victory is already ours!

Don’t live like you wish you would have, should have, could have.

Play!!!

God is good.

Peder